Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Men with Tools

So let's say that you've just bought a house, and you like this house a lot, but you really think that you want just a little bit more to make you happy: you want to add a shower to the upstairs half-bath, which will make it either a full bath or a three-quarter bath, depending on some criterion that I am unable to determine. Anyway, you're a homeowner with needs, so what are you going to do? Right: go to the Internet.

Because there's a site for that, don't you know. Maybe seven years ago and then again five years ago I needed to move, and I wasn't going to rent a truck and blackmail or bribe my friends, so I found a local website what you were looking for and within minutes, you'd have men calling you up and offering to help you out, asking you how many men and what sort of equipment you needed to procure satisfaction of your very reasonable needs. It all reminded me of something else, though I could never quite put my finger on what that was.

Anyway, it turns out that there's a similar site for guys in need of a little home improvement assistance. You go to the site, you navigate to the M4MBathroom Renovations section, and you post what you're looking for:
I want to add a shower to the upstairs half-bath in the house I just bought. The house is a Cape with a slanted roof, and to make room for the shower, it will probably be necessary to expand the bathroom about 18 inches into the upstairs bedroom. It will probably also be necessary to move the sink somewhat, and I may want to replace the sink. I am hoping to find someone to frame and install the new shower and do the plumbing. I can finish the walls and install a new floor myself after the shower is installed. One of the prefabricated shower stalls (about 36 x 36) would be fine. Email contact is preferred, but phone contact is fine after 5.

Then you sit back and wait (not for very long) and OMG, y'all, you start getting emails and calls from eager men all over the area. They all want to come over and "give you a free estimate." (Exact quote. I am not using scare quotes. I never use scare quotes. I'm hurt that you even had to ask.) Unfortunately, most of them are only free during the day, when you're at work, (And that also reminds me of something: it's just beyond my grasp, though.) but a few of them say they can show up at your place early in the morning or late in the day, though they might have to be quick. So you arrange for these guys to show up, carefully staggering the times so that they don't find out about each other. They probably know they're in competition, and you know you're going to have to disappoint most of them, but you want to put off that disappointment as long as possible while still encouraging them to give you the very best that they have to offer.

But then there's drama. Like maybe you arrive at the house just before your 8 am appointment, and the phone rings, and the guy who's supposed to be there says that he's running behind because traffic is really bad, but that he'll be there by 8:45. 8:45? Ha! But your Mama didn't raise you to be rude, so you explain to him that 8:45 is too late for you this morning and that he should call later to reschedule. Depending on how many other guys schedule appointments, and how many actually show up, maybe you'll make another appointment with him. Maybe you won't. Maybe he won't even call again. Maybe he really was stuck in traffic, or maybe he decided that your project wasn't big enough or attractive enough for him. In any case, all of your excitement has changed to a combination of disappointment and pique that leaves you wondering whether your needs will ever get met.

Inevitably, though, you try again. You're only human, after all, and sooner or later you have to figure that you'll find the right man for the job. Or at least that you won't find him if you don't look.

The federal government says that I'm a first-time homebuyer, but I have the strongest sense of deja vu. Why is that? I reckon the answer will come to me sooner or later.

1 comment:

  1. I needed to laugh!!!! But before critisizing, can you tell if you're always really reliable? ;-)